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Successful first test run of Alstom Coradia iLint fuel cell train; signed letters of intent for 60 trains

Alstom successfully performed the first test run at 80 km/h (50 mph) of the fuel cell passenger train Coradia iLint (earlier post) on its own test track in Salzgitter, Lower Saxony (Germany). An extensive test campaign will be conducted in Germany and Czech Republic in the coming months before the Coradia iLint performs its first passenger test runs on the Buxtehude–Bremervörde–Bremerhaven–Cuxhaven (Germany) route beginning of 2018.

The four-week test runs currently underway in Salzgitter aim at confirming the stability of the energy supply system based on coordinated interaction between the drive, the fuel cell and the battery of the vehicle. The braking power is also being tested to check the interface between the pneumatic and the electric brake.

The Coradia iLint is the first low-floor passenger train worldwide powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, which produces the electrical power for the traction. Coradia iLint combines different innovative elements: clean energy conversion; flexible energy storage in batteries; and smart management of the traction power and available energy. Based on Alstom’s flagship Coradia Lint diesel train, Coradia iLint is suited for operation on non-electrified networks. It enables sustainable train operation while maintaining high train performance.


The dynamic tests are performed at Salzgitter plant at 80 km/h and in Velim (Czech Republic) at up to 140 km/h (87 mph), the maximum speed of the Coradia iLint. For the purpose of the tests, a mobile filling station has been erected in Salzgitter to pump gaseous hydrogen into the pressure tank of the Coradia iLint.

The hydrogen used for the test runs is the by-product of an industrial process, which is reasonably reused as a waste product. In the long term, Alstom aims to support the hydrogen production from wind energy.

The vehicle has already successfully completed the static commissioning process. All electrical and pneumatic functions of the trains have been tested and verified at standstill. TÜV Süd has certified the safety of the battery, the pressure tank system and the fuel cell for the coming test phases.

The Coradia iLint was designed by Alstom teams in Germany at Salzgitter’s site, center of excellence for regional trains and in France notably in Tarbes, center of excellence for traction systems and Ornans for the motors. This project benefits from the support of the German ministry of Transport and Digital infrastructure. Alstom has already signed letters of intent for 60 trains with the German states of Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg and the Hessian transport association ‘Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund’.


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Always believed that the best use of Fuel Cell Tech is long range transportation. The Buxtehude–Bremervörde–Bremerhaven–Cuxhaven train can complete a 500 mile (800 kilometer) journey on a full tank of hydrogen, which is enough for one day according to Alstom. It operates 24 hours a day during the work week. In the US most rail networks are non-electrified, so the use of FC trains would reduce the large expense to electrify these networks. Low noise, zero pollution 90 mph trains may be a better solution than High Speed Rail in many parts of the US (which is the focus of the Alston train).
FC tech can have a major impact on transportation in the areas of long range transport such as inter-city rail and trucks, even short haul air transport, e.g. helicopters.


Good move Alston.

This could be the ideal solution to replace existing polluting diesel passenger trains in USA and Canada (and many other countries) without having to electrify the rail network.

More powerful units could also replace existing diesel freight locomotives?

What are we waiting for?


Trains, ships, trucks are all good uses for fuel cells whether MCFC, SOFC or PEM. Use LH2 for energy density and safety.


Hydrogen fuelcell experimentations have been around since more than 20 years, yep no sustainable market have been found. Since then many folks have collected ton of useless subsidies and we still don't know at all how they produce this hydrogen and at what cost, LOL. If we had a cheap hydrogen infrastructure, it will be possible to add hydrogen tanks to gasoline and diesel cars and trucks where the hydrogen boost and clean emissions and improve mileage at low cost but not even a scientific or producer is talking about it, LOL.

By the way the comment section of autobloggreen is completely removed since two weeks without any notice, they are so boring.

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